MY OH MY-Miami

Lake Worth, FL

We anchored in Lake Worth just as the sun set.  We both often end up on the bow to see how the anchor is setting.  If we see the anchor chain pull straight and tight and the boat stays put, then we figure it has set well.  We looked down the chain and realized the water was so clear that we could see the anchor digging into the bottom!  A far cry from anchoring in the muddy Chesapeake.

We were close to other boats, but doing OK. Then the tide changed.  Rosie was dancing with the wind and tide, but her heavy anchor chain kept her in check.  The boat behind us had a rope anchor rode and wandered all over.  After reading in the cockpit and watching the other boat for a couple hours, I was satisfied we would be OK and went to bed.

We got up at three AM and prepared to leave.  By 3:30 we were motoring out the inlet headed for Miami.  We estimated the trip would take about 12 hours, so the early departure would bring us in mid-afternoon.  There was a little wind so we put up the sails and motorsailed down the coast.  The Gulf Stream runs close to shore in this part of Florida, so we stayed in close, keeping the depth gauge around 30-50 ft.  Even then we were fighting about a knot of current.

After sunup the wind worked its way around to the south so we rolled in the genoa and continued motoring. 

We had been collecting fishing equipment and decided to try it out.  After a short time dragging a lure the line began running out.  I dashed to the back of the boat and began bringing the fish in.  As I got it to the boat I realized I didn’t have anything ready or even a plan of how to land the fish.  I looked down at the fish and tried to figure out what to do.  The fish stared up at me with a look that could only say, “Amatuer!” then he spit the hook and was gone.

The one that didn't get away

I put the line back out and began to collect my gear on the back deck.  Soon the line began to run.  I grabbed the rod and began to bring the fish in.  This time when it got close, I pulled out my gaff, lifted him aboard, and dropped him in a plastic tub.  I won’t go into all the details, but soon there was a nice chunk of Yellow Jack in the reefer that was destined to be an appetizer when when had dinner with friends in Miami.

Once I finished cleaning the fish, I tried trolling some more, but without any luck.


Soon we entered the Port of Miami.  The main channel goes straight in and there are also two channels that branch off – on right and one left.  A couple ferries crossed in front of us, a cigarette boat blasted by.  Straight ahead we could see a row of six cruise ships docked.  Clearly we weren’t in Kansas any more.

The main Miami ship channel

We had heard that there was a security zone in effect by the cruise ships that morning, but had heard nothing else the rest of the day.  We got about halfway up the main channel when someone called the westbound sailboat.  That would be us.  It was the security patrol.  We turned around as directed and went back to one of the side channels.

We motored up the side channel past the container ship terminal, around the far end of the main channel and into the area south of the Venetian Causeway.  Our friends Mark and Michelle had arrived the day before and had reach anchored just south of Belle Island.  We found our way over and dropped the hook.  We had motored for 12 hours.

The Miami skyline

Off to the west was the Miami skyline.  Pretty impressive.  Just a stone’s throw to the east were the apartments and condos of Miami Beach.  Mark and Michelle had anchored here last year and knew their way around.  We could dinghy up a couple different canals to fill our water, gas, and diesel jugs.  There were also a couple convenient grocery stores near the canals.  A little more walking took us into the business district where there were all manner of stores.  And of course, we could walk up Lincon Rd and along the Ocean Drive and be part of the South Beach scene.

Hauling groceries - one of the cruising challenges

Much of our time was spent at the laundromat and at the grocery, drug, and hardware stores.  This was our last chance to provision before leaving for the Bahamas. Each trip was planned based on what we would be able to haul back to the boat in our dinghy.  There were a couple times I wasn’t sure that Jackie and I would fit with all the provisions.

It’s close to being time to go.  We’ve been watching the weather and consulting our weather router.  A north wind can whip up the Gulf Stream, so we need wind out of any other direction and we need enough fair weather for the 30 hour trip to Nassau.  The forecast looks good for crossing on Monday.  The stream should be down, but there won’t be much wind, so it looks like there will be a lot of motoring.

One Response to “MY OH MY-Miami”

  1. Eric Lindstrom Says:

    Hi folks,
    Met you this fall in Bacons. Just wanted to say I enjoyed your posting and wish you well on your passage to the Bahamas. Hope to see you on the bay sometime. Am planning a Bahamas trip next fall on our 37 CC ketch Tessanna. Best of luck..

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